Gender and Language, Vol 14, No 1 (2020)

‘Please abuse me’: ludic-carnivalesque female masochism on Sina Weibo

Kunming Li, Jan Blommaert
Issued Date: 21 May 2020


In the light of Huizinga’s conceptualisation of play and Bakhtinian carnival theory, this article exemplifies the ludic-carnivalesque qualities of female masochism on China’s social media. Arguably, the joint venture of play and carnival frameworks allows a de-pathological account of female masochism under the male gaze and a reclaiming of the feminist agenda through the critical reading of abusive texts in the pan-entertaining digital era. Thus, the study fills a gap regarding non-sexual female masochistic pleasure in the literature of feminist studies. The article has found billingsgate language, or the language of marketplace, a fertile ground to investigate patriarchy and objectification. It contends that billingsgate language, which hails a ludic-carnivalesque exposure of present patriarchal biases against women and imbalanced gender power relations, is pregnant with a power of deconstruction that overturns present social orders in favour of gender equalities.

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DOI: 10.1558/genl.36436


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